This book focuses on the issue of mistakes in psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapy--the inevitability of making them, as far as possible how to avoid them, and what therapists can do to transform potential disasters into a means for growth in themselves as well as the patient. Further developing the creative therapeutic approach first elaborated in his classic Learning from the Patient, distinguished clinician and author Patrick Casement makes a compelling case for being open-minded rather than dogmatic in clinical practice. He shows how analysts can become blind to their own mistakes, and even more significantly, can fail to recognize when their efforts to guide or control the therapeutic process have become a problem for the patient. A wealth of evocative case material is used to illustrate how the process of internal supervision can facilitate heightened awareness of the patient's experience within the clinical encounter. Written with rare candor, this book challenges many traditional assumptions even as it affirms the healing power of psychodynamic work.
Foreword, Nancy McWilliams
1. Getting There: The Unfolding Potential of Psychoanalysis
2. Mistakes in Psychoanalysis, and Trying to Avoid Them
3. The Experience of a Session: Trying to Communicate It
4. Towards Autonomy: Some Thoughts on Psychoanalytic Supervision
5. Some Hazards in Being Helpful in Psychotherapy
6. Re-enactment and Resolution
7. To Hold or Not to Hold a Patient's Hand: Further Reflections
8. Impingement and Space: Issues of Technique
9. The Unknown Beyond the Known
· Epilogue: Getting Where?
· Appendix: Some Pressures on the Analyst for Physical Contact during the Reliving of an Early Trauma
"Patrick Casement's new book is a unique and rare gem. Bringing the clinical encounter alive as only he can do, Casement illustrates convincingly, and with great wisdom, a creative and flexible approach to patients, to the treatment process, and to the analyst's inevitable errors, that is invaluable to clinical work. A master class taught by a master clinician. Learning from Our Mistakes is a book that must be read by every practicing therapist."
-Theodore J. Jacobs, MD
"One of those rare works in our field that constitutes an unquestionable 'must read.'...For sheer wit and wisdom, this contribution by a master clinician and theoretician cannot be surpassed. Patrick Casement has outdone himself."
-Estelle Shane, PhD, Los Angeles, California
"Patrick Casement, whose previous writings are now available in twenty languages, has with this book done another good deed for his fellow professionals....[Casement reminds] us of the complex realities of the clinical challenge and the demanding ethical commitments that underlie our therapeutic work."
-from the Foreword by Nancy McWilliams, PhD